FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. (KMOX) – It’s not clear whether they gave themselves a name, but perhaps “The Backpack Gang” would be apropos.
Franklin County sheriff’s deputies and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, acting on a tip, began to round up suspects in a far-ranging theft ring Tuesday night and that effort continued into Wednesday morning.
So far eight suspects have been taken into custody.
This comes after thefts from vehicles and out-buildings in Pacific, Gray Summit and Eureka dating back several months, with stolen items ranging from cash and electronics to weapons.
Based on information gathered from those already in custody, investigators say the theft ring worked like this:
The suspects, mostly men in their late teens or early 20’s, would be dropped off in various locations with empty backpacks.
They would then raid unlocked vehicles, sheds and garages gathering up valuables, and would be picked up once their backpacks were full.
State police, the Franklin County narcotics unit, and city police from Pacific and Eureka are taking part in the investigation.
More arrests may follow.
Eight people are being held on charges ranging from active warrants to stealing and unlawful possession of stolen property.